The question has been asked many times…I have posted my thoughts on this in the past but will do it again for the benefit of newer folks who may have missed it or those who still do not get it.
Why is it that I am not keeping lists like all the other makers do?
Answer: Because I am not like all other makers. Show me another maker out there working solo who has offered runs of over 60 different items this year. Let me give you an example...
There are lots of guys making 5 or 6 different models of knives, maybe they have 2 folders and 3 fixed blades. The price points are much higher than mine (say $150-600) so right away their list is smaller. This is because generally speaking, the higher the price the smaller the pool of buyers who are lined up waiting. If you had 35 people waiting and most wanted one thing and only a few wanted 2 or 3 items then the list is workable even if it takes months or a year to get to all of them.
Now make that 100 people on the list, a list that is growing daily, and each wants between 1 and 12 different items. Some ask simply for one of everything as if that would make it easier. Let’s not forget my small pool of dealers too and the numerous emails I get from folks who wish to be dealers…at this point, had I continued keeping lists, I would easily be up to several hundred people and the wait time would in years.
Anyway, here’s the list of items they might be choosing from:
Skeeter, Sumo, Wedgie3, Wedgie 4, Wedgie5, basic Keyton, Area 51 Keyton, Ti prybaby, Ti keyton, Gasbaby, Hexbaby, Micro BOBar, full sized BOBar, Ti BoBar regular, Ti bobar gas wrench version, Mini ti BOBar, Ti whistle, Brass whistle with rifle knurl, Brass whistle with diamond knurl, Brass whistle with straight knurl, Stainless whistle wide straight knurl, Stainless whistle fine straight knurl, Stainless whistle rifle knurl, Stainless whistle diamond knurl, Damascus whistle blue tongue pattern, Damascus whistle twist pattern, Damascus mini prybabies, Damascus mini keytons, Damascus boogers, Damascus msopthings, Steel msopthings, Full sized SOPThings, Micro BOBlades, full sized BOBlades, Keykutter, Mini cc knives, Damascus mini cc knives, Drop point boogers, Original boogers, Wharncliffe boogers, Tanto boogers, Flat keytons, Flat spannerbabies, Regular spannerbabies, Titanium spannerbabies, Pop n Chops, Bottlebugs, Crawdaddies, Bug bites, G2 prybabies, Prybaby XLs, Mini Prybaby XLs, Titanium Prybaby XLs, Titanium bottlebugs, Ghouls, Goblins, Constellation prybabies, Constellation keytons, long keytons, Talonite skeeters, Talonite mini son of prythings, Perforated prybabies, Scouts, Glowhistles, Area 51 bug out bars, Tac straps, etc, etc, etc.
And on the titanium items they want special finishes and grinds. The cord wrap colors are blah blah and blah and can you include an extra piece of cord? And they really want a lefty not a righty. Can they have tiger stripes? Can they get bubble pattern on one with black cord and satin on the other with orange reflective cord? How about a slightly smaller one? How about a bigger one? Can they get it in damascus? Will I use their damascus bar they got from Ebay? Can you drill some extra holes in that? Can you make me one with no holes at all? Can you leave off the V notch on mine? If they order it without a teklok can I give them a discount? How about a sheath to go with that non-knife tool? Can you engrave my initials or my company name? Can you let me know when you will have more of them? Can they have it all shipped at once because they’d like to save on postage. And can they have it by the end of the month because they are going on vacation/getting married/giving it as a gift/deploying overseas and they need it before then. And how come such and such got theirs first when they have been waiting for months?
Then they change their mind and so now I have to go and find their listing on the spreadsheet and make some changes, all of which takes time when I could be in the shop making cool shit and dreaming the dreams which is where the new stuff comes from. Oh yeah, did I mention that they emailed me from their other email account and signed their name Bob and I have 3 different Bobs on my list and now none of the emails match? And they have the annoying habit of erasing everything from their previous emails so I cannot follow the earlier conversation and figure out quickly just what it was that they wanted…so I email them and then wait a day to hear back and clarify everything meanwhile forgetting our earlier email conversation because I’m so freaking busy and trying to keep it all in my head and since then 6 other people have emailed asking for stuff…
Starting to get the picture?
I’m telling you, it would make anyone FREAKING CRAZY trying to keep up with it all. I don’t think even the CIA could come up with a more effective means to break a human being. I was going nuts and getting so stressed out I couldn’t see straight so I said NO MORE! The heck with the damned list! I’ll make what I feel like making and post them when they’re done. Period. You would not BELIEVE how relieved I was after making that decision.
Since then my production has increased exponentially because concentrating on larger batches of one thing at a time is so much more efficient. Working off the list was draining my energy, keeping me permanently confused and I wasn’t getting half as much stuff made.
So there you have it. I could go on and on but it would just be redundant and bore everyone to tears. Bottom line, I am deeply grateful to the folks who have stuck with me through this and apologize to the ones who don’t like my system, but for the sake of my sanity that’s how it has to be.